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Just out of curiosity, but which galactic empire do you think was the most powerful (Cron, Eldar Imperium, Tau, any others that I have forgot)? Assuming peak strength and an even playing field who would win the inevitable death match?
 

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Bane of Empires
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I think most people would agree that the Necrons, with the C'tan at their head, were the most powerful. They did, after all, wipe out the Old Ones' civilisation.
 

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I love the tau and all BUT we haven't seen their peak. Soooo I'd have to say either Crons or Eldar, the crons were far more advanced than the Eldar, but to my knowledge the eldar more numerous than the crons. The imp well.......when is their peak...GC.....40k...etc?
 

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Necrons. With the C'tan at full power and developing god-like tech, there isn't a race that would be able to stand against them on their own after they destroyed the Old Ones.
 

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See all of you seem to think the C'Tan automatically ensures victory for the Necronian Empire (if that would be the proper name). While I concur with some of you that the Necrons track record proves them to be deadly opponents (as Child-of-the-Emporer so pointed out with the destruction of the "Old Ones.") I think they would be annihilated with the Eldar persuing them.

Let us be honest here for a few minutes and say the Eldar have been focused on finished of the Necrotyr. Eventually one or the other is going to win, and I don't think it will come down to C'Tan versus Eldar Gods. I tiwll be just pure numbers and skill of the warriors on the battlefield.

So they are diminished, or made so weak they are not a threat for the current moment; so who does that leave us with. Orks, Humanity, Tau, and Chaos. We can pretty much rule out an Ork Empire because they almost always return to infighting and destroy themselves from within. Choas and Humanity have been going on at it for millenia, and there is no reason for them to stop anytime soon. The Nids.....well they don't have "Empire" in their vocabulary.

So that leaves just the Tau, and my choice for this thread. The Tau are slow, cautious, and careful in their expansions and warefare. That being said they have some of the most advanced techology of the game. If their Plasma/Pulse weapontry doesn't impress you thenn their "Standard of Living" technology dwarfs just about anything else to be thrown at them. Their knowledge is vast, their prowness is as sharp as the edge of a blade,and their ideology (The Greater Good) is probably the most dangerous thing about them. I mean hell, they have a fucking Rail Gun......RAIL GUN FOLKS!!!! :security:

Ahem, anyway, point here is that the Tau have the most potential to be not only the Strongest Empire; but also the longest lasting. I feel if the Tau played their cards right, and kept putting out such talented and competant Commander's they could really forget the "Sphere of Exnapsion" tactics and turn to outright conquest.
 

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stuff .....RAIL GUN FOLKS!!!! :security:stuff
The problem with your post is that the question is 'at their PEAK' which is most powerfull.....well like I said before we haven't seen the tau at their highest 'peak' we've seen many 'peaks' with brief dips then quick inclines, so the tau should be left out as we would just be making assumptions of what their peak is.

I don't doubt that given enough time the tau could get close or even equal to cron tech, their like the covenant at reverse engineering. I mean after one war with the Imperium the tau took one of their own warp drives and made a safer version, albeit a slightly slower version.

The tau don't just have a rail gun they have many rail guns, they've got ones for ships,tanks/emplacements, battle suits, and even ones for their scouts. The imp's ships can barely withstand tau railguns, (Rouge Trader series), one rail gun shot blew through the ship's void shield, albeit when they were unprepared, and on a 2nd encounter it took 1.5 shots to do it again.
 

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I mean hell, they have a fucking Rail Gun......RAIL GUN FOLKS!!!!
Going to still have to give the leg up to the Necrons on destructive power. The old Necron codex has a heavy destroyer penetrating not one layer of a Land Raider, but the shot also flies through the other side with minimal deflection. That means the shot punched clean through. The adept doing the analysis on the attack states that, in terms of Imperial tech, nothing short of a Titan or starship's weapons could hope to replicate such a feat. Yet the Necrons did it on a "light skimmer".
 

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Going to still have to give the leg up to the Necrons on destructive power. The old Necron codex has a heavy destroyer penetrating not one layer of a Land Raider, but the shot also flies through the other side with minimal deflection. That means the shot punched clean through. The adept doing the analysis on the attack states that, in terms of Imperial tech, nothing short of a Titan or starship's weapons could hope to replicate such a feat. Yet the Necrons did it on a "light skimmer".
er.....the tau 5th dex had the same thing with a battlesuit. In books it has ship based railguns tearing through imperial void shields and all the way through the ship, port to starboard.....that's left and right?

Current dex states the hammerhead's main rail gun can tear through land raider armor like paper.
 

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er.....the tau 5th dex had the same thing with a battlesuit.
The Tau don't have a 5th edition codex?

I'm aware that there's an excerpt from an Imperial Guardsman's point of view where a railgun blows a hole through a leman russ (I believe the crew were sucked out of the relatively smal hole, too, iirc), but a leman russ is a very different beast from a land raider.

In books it has ship based railguns tearing through imperial void shields and all the way through the ship, port to starboard.....that's left and right?
Doesn't sync up with my claim since I can only assume the Tau ship was relatively similar in size. The Necron skimmer is much smaller than a land raider.

Current dex states the hammerhead's main rail gun can tear through land raider armor like paper.
Source?

Under the hammerhead entry I could only find it destroying Imperial Guard armor. No mention of Space Marine vehicles...much less a land raider. I've read over the fluffy parts of the codex a couple times since it came out. Could you provide a page and paragraph?

Plus, again, you're comparing the Tau's main battle tank (per the 6th edition codex) to a Necron light skimmer.
 

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4th ed...sue me I'm off by 1.

Never said it was equal to a skimmer and the ship was smaller and another instance was one hidden on a Imperial secessionist station, the stations only weapon.

Pg66 Rail weapon

EDIT: Fire Caste, Tau skysniper broadsides took down imperial landers
 

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Never said it was equal to a skimmer and the ship was smaller and another instance was one hidden on a Imperial secessionist station, the stations only weapon.
I'll admit I haven't read the Rogue Trader series, but I procured a copy of both books. From Rogue Star, the Rosetta--a rogue trader cruiser (from the passages I've read, it's a typical hybrid cargo/military vessel typical to Rogue Traders)--takes two hits from a space station's rail cannon. This drops the shields to less than half. What's surprising is that for the first shot, the shields were not at full power since the captain only orders shields to be brought to maximum power after the first hit.

Furthermore, the ship's shields were not "figured to convert such high-veloicty particle impacts". So despite being a hybrid vessel, not ready for the shot, AND the void shields were not configured to absorb such punishment, they still held. After two shots and still only somewhat below half strength afterwards.

The Oceanid is struck by the station at least twice (though perhaps more, the text is not specific). It's hardly in tip top shape, however, as the opening chapter of the book mentions how the vessel is "long past its prime".

Pg66 Rail weapon
Forgive me, my eyes must be going bad. I see a mention of rail guns being "capable" of punching through the thickest armor (like a land raider's), but no mention of it cutting through its armor like paper. Much less both sides of a land raider.

EDIT: Fire Caste, Tau skysniper broadsides took down imperial landers
A lander (designed to fly in the air) is totally different sort of machine than a heavily armored APC.
 

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The eldar hands down the reason being the webway.
The Old Ones utilised the webway during the War in Heaven yet they still lost. The Necrons, with the help of Nyadra'zatha, were able to access the webway and besiege the Old Ones in every corner of the galaxy.
 

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Like most people, I have to say Necrons at their peak. There really was no single other race who could challenge them at that stage.

I do have to say, it'd be interesting if we had an idea of how big the main tyranid fleet is, if you could call what they have an "empire" of sorts. Though, even then, the lack of enemy biomass to devour would be a major weakness against the necrons. Because I also struggle to believe that they could recover much in the line of biomass from anything hit with necron gauss weaponry.
 

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See all of you seem to think the C'Tan automatically ensures victory for the Necronian Empire (if that would be the proper name). While I concur with some of you that the Necrons track record proves them to be deadly opponents (as Child-of-the-Emporer so pointed out with the destruction of the "Old Ones.") I think they would be annihilated with the Eldar persuing them.
Without the Old Ones and against the full Necron/ C'tan Empire there's not an empire in the material universe that would be able to survive. The Nightbringer, Void Dragon, and Outsider alone would bring ruin to Eldar fleets as their own gods failed to defeat the Void Dragon (Talisman's of Vaul) but Khaine was able to take on the Nightbringer (not permanently though).

Let us be honest here for a few minutes and say the Eldar have been focused on finished of the Necrotyr. Eventually one or the other is going to win, and I don't think it will come down to C'Tan versus Eldar Gods. I tiwll be just pure numbers and skill of the warriors on the battlefield.
That's just an opinion. Necron technology would destroy anything the Eldar could come up with. Also remember that the C'tan were trying to use the plyon's to block off the warp from the materium. That happens and the Eldar are screwed.

So they are diminished, or made so weak they are not a threat for the current moment; so who does that leave us with. Orks, Humanity, Tau, and Chaos. We can pretty much rule out an Ork Empire because they almost always return to infighting and destroy themselves from within. Choas and Humanity have been going on at it for millenia, and there is no reason for them to stop anytime soon. The Nids.....well they don't have "Empire" in their vocabulary.
Okay, in no way shape fashion or form are either the Necrons or C'tan "not a threat." I don't believe you have a strong grasp on what the new fluff is. I've argued that the can be reasoned with and bargained with unlike the cold emotionless killers they were before. They still have the same tech. Also the C'tan, even as shards, are still more powerful than any single being in the material universe. Also you comment about Chaos and Humanity is what also makes me think you don't know what you're talking about. You are aware this is the story of how humanity ends, yes? So at 999.M41 the doomsday clock is one minute to midnight. The 40k franchise is basically telling how the humans have come to this. So yeah, it's ending soon. The Nids are an Empire of Nature. Being the dominant species in an increasing territorial expansion is a textbook Empire ruled by the Hive Mind.

So that leaves just the Tau, and my choice for this thread. The Tau are slow, cautious, and careful in their expansions and warefare. That being said they have some of the most advanced techology of the game. If their Plasma/Pulse weapontry doesn't impress you thenn their "Standard of Living" technology dwarfs just about anything else to be thrown at them. Their knowledge is vast, their prowness is as sharp as the edge of a blade,and their ideology (The Greater Good) is probably the most dangerous thing about them. I mean hell, they have a fucking Rail Gun......RAIL GUN FOLKS!!!! :security:
Um. Okay. I can see your a Tau fan. However their technology isn't any better than any other faction to be honest. They've been successful because of the other older factions being to busy to really dedicate much to fighting them. However, after 999. M41, I don't they will survive Chaos taking over the universe and Kharn carving his way through them.

Ahem, anyway, point here is that the Tau have the most potential to be not only the Strongest Empire; but also the longest lasting. I feel if the Tau played their cards right, and kept putting out such talented and competant Commander's they could really forget the "Sphere of Exnapsion" tactics and turn to outright conquest.
The only reason they haven't been wiped out is because they haven't tried outright conquest. If the Tyranids weren't so drawn to the Imperium on top of Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Necrons, CSM's, and Chaos the Tau would be toast. You think the Tau based on the assortment I've laid would be able to simultaneously take on Hive Fleets, D.E. raiding parties, Black Crusades, Daemon Incursions, and Waaagh!!!'s and still rule an Empire?
 

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The Tau don't have a 5th edition codex?
Yikes, I just read into that. How come they don't have a 5th Edition yet? I hope this doesn't mean they are planning to phase them out; does it?

Going to still have to give the leg up to the Necrons on destructive power.
Dude.................seriously? Gauss Cannons.....vs........RAIL GUNS!!!! :taunt: It's like comparing an Earth Worm vs Tyrannosaurus Rex. I bet you if it wasn't for their Regeneration Capabilities the Tau would eat Necrons for target shooting.

The tau don't just have a rail gun they have many rail guns, they've got ones for ships,tanks/emplacements, battle suits, and even ones for their scouts. The imp's ships can barely withstand tau railguns, (Rouge Trader series), one rail gun shot blew through the ship's void shield, albeit when they were unprepared, and on a 2nd encounter it took 1.5 shots to do it again.
Yes....so you prove my point; why?

The problem with your post is that the question is 'at their PEAK' which is most powerfull.....well like I said before we haven't seen the tau at their highest 'peak' we've seen many 'peaks' with brief dips then quick inclines, so the tau should be left out as we would just be making assumptions of what their peak is.
Again, supporting my point; why?

Conclusion is Tau are not almighty; we all know that. However "Locustgate," I think the Tau "Are" the strongest Empire and "Will Become" the strongest Empire given time. Look how quickly they recovered from their set back in the Damocles Gulf incident. They have the potential, and if they can stave off the Nids they may become the next master's of the galaxy.
 

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Yikes, I just read into that. How come they don't have a 5th Edition yet? I hope this doesn't mean they are planning to phase them out; does it?
Obviously you didn't dude. :p They have a 6e codex, quite a good one at that.

Dude.................seriously? Gauss Cannons.....vs........RAIL GUNS!!!! It's like comparing an Earth Worm vs Tyrannosaurus Rex. I bet you if it wasn't for their Regeneration Capabilities the Tau would eat Necrons for target shooting.
Something that fires a projectile will never compare with a weapon that strips the very atoms from anything it hits. :)
 

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Something that fires a projectile will never compare with a weapon that strips the very atoms from anything it hits
Well you know what Serpion......well...maybe...you see...the thing is....ah hell whatever bro :) Plasma that burns your skin or Gausss that atomizes your skin; what is the differences man :p

Obviously you didn't dude.
Obviously I did Serpion5. I know they have a 6th Edition Codex, but I thought they had a 5th Edition Codex (which I was proven wrong). That's all. :)

BTW, I know this is completely fucking random, but found this picture of a Tau Drone ship online. Can anyone identitfy this sucker?

 

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Is that ship the Orca? I haven't looked at tau in ages. :scratchhead:

Well you know what Serpion......well...maybe...you see...the thing is....ah hell whatever bro Plasma that burns your skin or Gausss that atomizes your skin; what is the differences man :p
But you said railguns v gauss. :giggle:
 
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